Factors to Consider When Designing a Website

A business’ website is an essential part of their success.  Your website is often your consumers and potential consumers first impression of you.  A company’s website can serve as a platform for product and service advertisement, a customer service center, and a a source of profit with the use of paid advertisements and sponsored ads.  To maximize your sites potential, there are a few “musts” to consider:

Establish Your Brand and Target Audience

Your sites main goal is to reflect your brand and what it’s overall purpose is.  A website can easily be built and promoted across the web, but a good website fits well with your brand, correctly reflects its purpose, and serves as a tool for consumers to easily navigate through.  Your target audience consists of consumers and potential consumers that typically hold interest in what your company offers. It’s important that your website reflects that. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you’re focusing on exactly what you want your websites overall role to be.  Meaning, are you using it as just an extra advertising platform? Or, will it be focused on ecommerce and selling inventory? How can you utilize it to its full potential?

Make Sure You’re Mobile Friendly

We live in an age where mostly anything can be done with a few screen swipes on a smartphone.  While you’re on the go, your smartphone essentially gives you the power of your computer or laptop in the palm of your hand.  But how many times have you landed on a non-mobile friendly site? When your consumers need to do a quick search or access your site on the go, it’s important they can efficiently do that with their smartphone.  A site that isn’t mobile friendly will lose its visitors quickly.

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Useful Tips All Female Entrepreneurs Should Know

It’s no secret that the representation of women in entrepreneurship has been underestimated over the years.  However, recent statistics have shown that female entrepreneurs are quick on the rise. According to a 2017 American Express commissioned study, female owned businesses account for 39% of all U.S firms, and over the past 20 years (1997-2017) have grown 114%.  As an entrepreneur myself, these numbers are something for women in this industry, and in general, to be extremely proud of. Entrepreneurs never stop learning.  Working with partners and other business professionals serves as a platform to continuously learn new things and receive advice from others. Here are a few useful tips for all female entrepreneurs.

Seek Mentors and Guidance

Never be shy about reaching out to successful people you know for a little advice or encouragement.  Other entrepreneurs have probably gone through many similar experiences, and can provide you with great insight about how to handle them the right way.  Use your resources and always be respectful of someone else’s time.  CEO Kara Goldin says, “Tell them you won’t take a lot of their time and actually don’t,” she says. And, if someone doesn’t return your email or declines to invest in your company, don’t take it personally. Their lack of response might mean they don’t think they can be helpful.”

Be Patient, Set Short and Long Term Goals

We’ve all heard the sayings, “patience is a virtue” or “failure is an inevitable part of success”.  Though many may consider them to be cliche, these sayings are often good words to live by as an entrepreneur.  Always remember to be patient with your progress. Success doesn’t often come over night, and usually needs time to build. Set attainable short term and long term goals.  If something doesn’t work, take the time to evaluate the error and see how it can be fixed.

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Six destinations worth exploring in 2018

With geopolitical tensions running high, it’s easy to see why so many people just want to escape from it all and jet off to parts unknown. But what are the best places to see in 2018? We’ve compiled a hot list of the most alluring, intriguing and downright fun places on the planet to visit this year!

Sardinia:

A large Italian island nestled in the Mediterranean Ocean, Sardinia is loved by celebrities such as George Clooney. Known for its gorgeous hiking trails and even some mysterious ruins from the Bronze Age, Sardinia seems to be making a name as one of the most sought-after destinations in 2018.

Corsica:

If you like the idea of Sardinia but you’re looking for something with a more distinctly French flair, it’s time to check out Corsica. With renowned hiking trails and a coastline to die for, Corsica is truly a gem. Combining the best of France and Italy, this is one vacation destination that cannot be missed.

Mykonos:

It’s not every day that you visit an island that was once rumored to be made from the corpses of gods, but the Greek hotspot Mykonos is not just any island. Located in the Aegean Sea, it also boasts a bombastic dance music scene, as well as windmills that have been there for over five centuries. Those who are seeking out a fun summer excursion will undoubtedly fall for the party vibes in Mykonos. With idyllic weather and a friendly population, Mykonos tends to pop up a lot on social media these days.

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How To Enhance Your UX Design With Micro Interactions

One of the most important factors about a phone app is the user experience, also known as the UX. A good one can make an app an overnight hit while a poor one can ruin an app development company. Micro interactions are one of the main ways to improve the UX by making the app simple enough for anyone to use it but complex enough to be interesting. That is why the following list of the top three components to consider when enhancing your user experience design has been assembled. They are, in no particular order, as follows:

  • Utilizing Micro Interactions

 

  • Giving An Optional Demonstration To First Time Users

 

  • Take User Feedback Seriously

Utilizing Micro Interactions

Micro interactions are the individual ways in which a user interact with an app. An example of this would be when they are prompted to answer yes or no to a particular question. A separate screen pops up and the user can then select their choice. Micro interactions are a very important part of the experience of an app. If used correctly, they can be one of the biggest selling points of an app. Conversely, poorly formatted micro interactions can be a breaking point for users which causes them to delete the app on the spot.

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Five UI Mistakes That Kill Customer Interaction

A customer’s decision about whether or not to stay on a business website or purchase products depends largely on their ability to navigate the website, which makes User Interface all the more important. If a website is poorly designed, hard to navigate, or just all-around offensive, kiss that sale goodbye.

Here are some of the most common culprits in that regard.

Lengthy Fill-In Forms

Nothing kills enthusiasm faster than trying to fill in 30 different blanks to receive a .pdf download. At the least, an opt-in form should have two forms: email address and name. Anything more than that has the potential to turn away prospective leads. While a company never wants to leave important information on the table, they also need to minimize their ask if they want to maximize their leads.

Poor Font Selection

It’s immediately clear upon visiting a website whether or not a website creator has actually been to design school or simply watched a few Youtube videos on it. Fonts are usually the most notable giveaway. Companies need to limit the number of fonts that they use, reduce the amount of “impact” fonts, and keep a font selection that’s in tone with the webpage (don’t use a calligraphy font if the company sells hardware, for instance).

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3 Steps to Transform Your Idea Into Entrepreneurship

Many people dream of starting their own businesses. They may have great talents and ambitions, and it is a natural human tendency to find its best outlet. If a person must leave their skills and abilities on the shelf, they often experience a feeling of wasting their time.

For those driven to run their own show and willing to take on the risks associated with owning a business, Entrepreneur Magazine outlines three practical steps toward transforming a golden idea into a profitable business, Your text to link….

Identify your skills

In entrepreneurship, profit comes from skills. The important first step is identifying those skills. Making a list helps crystallize these skills in the mind’s eye, and it also helps generate thoughts about skills that may have lain dormant for years.

Whatever the business idea, be it for a new app or a clothing line, it must be something that the entrepreneur relates to and understands. The best business models are built on inherent skills. A talented artist who loves to paint, visit art galleries, and has a penchant for art museums possesses intrinsic skills related to the art industry. The questions becomes how to transfer those skills into a new business.

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What is Conversational UX Design and Who’s Paving the Way?

Explosive adoption of AI has increased productivity and efficiency, but it has created some new challenges. One of those issues is the need for human users to communicate with AI systems. For now, much of the effort to make AI more accessible is to make them conversational.

Two researchers at IBM have used their knowledge of sociology and art to find new ways to analyze conversations and use their discoveries to make communicating with AI seem more like talking with a person.

Natural Language

One emphasis of conversational UX design is giving AI entities a greater ability to formulate natural sentences. When perfected, users will talk with AI without realizing they are speaking with a machine.

Current AI

Many commercial AI systems, including consumer-facing apps such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, use machine learning to understand what people say. The deficiency in these systems is that they require human designers to create appropriate responses.

As a result, many conversations with current AI’s seem unnatural and produce either unanticipated or confusing results.

User Experience

UX design has already revolutionized the online world by creating designs from the user’s perspective. As a result websites and software applications have become more usable and users have become more satisfied. Conversational UX design aims to have a similar effect on AI.

Recent Progress

Therefore, IBM’s researchers are hoping to help AI designers to achieve two goals. The first is to standardize the design of AI conversations. The second is to make those conversational more productive and efficient for users.

IBM now has a library of UX conversational patterns that may soon help to improve conversations with AI. Additionally, teams of linguists and scientists are working together with sociologists to gain a better understanding of how people communicate.

Universal Standards

Despite the progress being made at IBM, the researchers seem to think that standardized conversational UX will take a long time to develop. This primarily is due to the fact that so many different organizations are working on their own set of standards.

Just as UX design has revolutionized traditional interfaces, it will play a major role in making AI more accessible and practical. Ultimately, developers can improve any system, regardless of its nature, by putting the end user first.

Three Misconceptions About Public Relations

The field of public relations has long been misconstrued as one filled with spin doctors, celebrity publicists, and thrusting otherwise ordinary individuals into the inescapable view of the public eye. However, what many onlookers do not know is that public relations is largely centered around communication, research, crafting creating strategies, and hours of tireless planning.

Furthermore, public relations practitioners must possess the ability to evaluate the public’s attitudes, identify the individual or organization’s mission and objectives, and create strategies that fully represent those values and achieve their goals.

Seeing as there is much more to public relations than many would typically think, let us take the time to address some other pervasive customer misconceptions about the field.

The right relationships can get us any coverage we want

Although relationships are extremely helpful in this realm, they operate the same as they would in other industries — in that they exist to help each party do business more effectively. For instance, journalist will only give a public relations professional the time of day when they can provide an exclusive, high-quality story that would be mutually beneficial to pitch to an editor. Therefore, these relationships are highly conditional and are not meant for getting eyes on otherwise uninteresting and low-quality content.

Public relations professionals can get journalists interested in me and/or my business

Along the same vein, it is important to remember that journalists are incredibly busy individuals, constantly sifting through countless stories to fill, at most, one to three spots per day. Therefore, even if your recent story, triumph, or launch is perfectly phrased and pitched to the right people, it still may be overlooked by a number of journalists who simply do not have the time to work on the piece.

The right PR can land me a featured profile or contributor spot in my favorite publication

While editors value pushing out non-news stories, journalists often stick to reporting on hard news, as it is often urgent and important for the public to know. Therefore, it is important to bury some non-news stories into pieces that encompass rare or important events.

For instance, you would likely see greater success by wrapping your featured profile into a story about your startup obtaining unicorn-level funding, as this is a rare feat that many companies do not achieve. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself disappointed when your pitch gets passed over for a more pertinent story.

The list of misconceptions about public relations could go on and on. However, now that we have highlighted some of the biggest misunderstandings, it is important to drive home the most important point: Trust the process. You are working with one or more experts who have your best interest and mission at heart. Although you may not see the exact outcomes you desire, you will certainly get closer to reaching your goals than you ever would have on your own.

UX Design: If They Don’t Notice You, You’re A Success

UX, or user experience, is one of the most important facets of “good design”. Whether a user is accessing a website, operating a mobile app, or subscribing to an online newsletter, a great user experience is a key factor for success.

How Good UX Design is Determined

When a user is browsing a website or mobile app that requires extensive time to load or does not provide easy navigation, they are much more likely to find an alternative source or option. A good user experience for UX designers helps to deliver content or products that are usable, credible, valuable, and desirable. Additionally, the user experience should always remain easily accessible while providing delight or joy to potential customers.

If an online visitor or prospective customer is able to browse smoothly without loading issues while also enjoying the aesthetic of a website or application, a UX designer has done their jobs properly. UX designers often prefer that the experience of their users or potential customers is so flawless that design is not noticed, but rather simply enjoyed and appreciated.

Why Do UX Designers Prefer Their Design to Go Unnoticed?

A website that offers smooth loading, no lagging, and beautiful, easy-to-read design offers a much better experience for all users. The only time it is ideal to have design looked at in-depth for UX designers is when a visitor is overjoyed at its simplicity or ease-of-use. Great design works effortlessly and fits seamlessly with brands and companies interested in reaching a specific audience or demographic. The more in-tune a UX designer is, the easier it becomes to effectively communicate with potential visitors and prospective shoppers. Understanding the wants, needs, and desires of an audience or a target demographic is imperative for professionals working as UX designers today.

Understanding the world of UX designers is ideal for anyone interested in the field of design, marketing, or entrepreneurship. UX designers take pride in delivering modern, attractive, and valuable designs and experiences for all companies whether you are planning to launch a start-up of your own or if you have an interest in re-designing and re-launching a business you currently run. With the right UX designer it is possible to truly take any brand or business to the next level of success, regardless of your market or industry.

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The 10 Laws of User Experience

Mary Mickel originally published this post here. 

Interface design can be a complicated process, but one front-end designer created his own set of laws to use as a guide during the design process. Using ideas from psychology to tailor his design approach to be more user-friendly, he was able to revolutionize the field of interface design and solve the riddle of how to attract and engage with users in an effective way.

  1. Jakob’s Law

This law of user experience states that users expect a website to function in a similar fashion to other websites that they already visit on a frequent basis.

  1. Law of Prägnanz

This law of user experience states that users will only comprehend complex or abstract images in the simplest form imaginable because they will be attracted to the option that requires the least amount of cognitive effort.

  1. Fitts’s Law

This law of user experience states that the size and distance of a target directly affect the time it takes to acquire the target since there is an increased chance of error the smaller and further away the target is from the subject.

  1. Miller’s Law

This law of user experience states that the human mind has a limited capacity for immediate memory and can only store an average of 7 items in their working memory, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.

  1. Tesler’s Law

This law of user experience states that regardless of one’s best efforts, there will always be a certain degree of complexity that exists in any given system which cannot be simplified or reduced any further. This is also known as The Law of Conservation of Complexity.

  1. Law of Proximity

This law of user experience states that objects which appear close together, or in the same proximate area, are ultimately seen as being part of the same group and joined. This is a similar effect seen in movies (or motion pictures.)

  1. Hick’s Law

This law of user experience states that the complexity and number of options presented to a person will increase the time it takes for that person to make a decision based on the options.

  1. Parkinson’s Law

This law of user experience states that any task will continue to grow in size until all available time to complete the task has been spent.

  1. Von Restorff Effect

This law of user experience states that when a series of similar items are grouped together, the one item that is least like the others is most likely to be remembered best. This is also known as The Isolation Effect.

  1. Serial Position Effect

This law of user experience states that a user’s memory will latch onto the first and last item in a list or series and provide maximum retention.